UPDATED Oct. 7. The box for the show at the end of this article originally said Thursday, Oct. 19. It now says the correct date, which is Saturday, Oct. 19.
Elvis Jr. is about to enter the building.
The son of the King will perform two shows Oct. 19, in the auditorium at Matanzas High School, and a portion of the ticket sales will benefit the performing arts in Flagler County schools.
The show is sponsored by Easy Oldies Radio 100.9 FM, which is under the umbrella of Flagler Broadcasting General Manager David Ayres. “It’s going to be a full-blown show, with backup singers, a seven-piece Vegas band, a 30-minute opening act.” For ticket information, see the box on Page 5.
Wait a minute … Elvis?
During the production of “Blue Hawaii,” Elvis Presley had an amorous encounter with an extra in the movie, according to Elvis Jr.'s website. Nine months later, a boy was born and put up for adoption to a circus family. The boy, named Phillip, was raised as an animal handler, and at 5 years old, he led lions on a leash round the circus. He became quite good at it, too, and developed a name for himself, with his animals appearing in movies and commercials.
Not surprisingly, he also found that he had talent as a singer, but that didn’t prepare him for what his adopted parents told him when he turned 21, in 1982.
“I thought something was wrong,” he said in a phone interview last week. “The real words to say are, ‘I was all shook up.’”
Eventually, Phillip decided to accept his identity, and, after a legal battle, had his name changed to Elvis Aaron Presley Jr. He became a news item, a novelty. He appeared on TV shows with children of other famous people, including Lorena Bobbitt’s daughter. He was on “Hard Copy” and “Howard Stern,” he said. He was in Rolling Stone and many other publications.
For the past three decades, Elvis Jr. has traveled the world in a grueling schedule. He has performed in England 18 times and once had 23 shows in 23 nights in Japan.
Amid all the performing, he has also been a prolific recording artist: He is working on his 35th and 36th albums now, and he has his eyes set on his next one already.
“I’m cutting a rap album,” he said. “It’s for the kids. It’s clean fun, nothing else. I’ve recorded so many different genres of music — gospel music, country, Hawaiian, blues — so this is another field to add to the collection of CDs.”
Rap is one new way Elvis Jr. is attempting to keep the music fresh for audiences, but he has found that the old songs continue to appeal to a broad audience in their original forms.
“We get a mixed crowd at shows,” he said. “It’s the most mixed crowd you’ve ever seen. We have kids that are 5 years old brought in by their parents, and we celebrated a 97-year-old’s birthday on stage, as well.”
Although Elvis Jr. records his own music, he has never had a hit record of his own, and 75% of what he sings at his concerts are songs of his father’s.
And although he is happy to take photographs with fans and sign autographs for hours to fulfill people’s need to connect with the King, he said he is not trying to replace his father.
“There’s nobody who could take his place,” he said.
Elvis Jr. doesn’t wear his father’s costumes or mimic his mannerisms on the stage — other than his hair.
“I was a natural with doing my own hair,” he said. “When I was a kid, I have pictures of myself with a curl in front of my forehead when I was 6 or 7 years old. So it wasn’t a really hard process for me.”
He uses a product called Freeze in his hair now. “It’s in a purple can,” he said. “The wind will blow, and you do an outdoor show, and you’ll still look the same.”
Tickets are still on sale for any resident who wants to see the hair in person.
BOX: Still not convinced? Jr. says the book will explain it all
Elvis Aaron Presley Jr. is not without his detractors. He says his mother was Angelique Pettyjohn, who at 18 was in the 1961 Elvis movie “Blue Hawaii” as an extra. During that movie shoot, Jr. says, Elvis Sr. got Pettyjohn pregnant. Elvis Sr.’s manager wanted it to be quiet, so he had Jr. adopted.
Detractors online have pointed out that Pettyjohn is not listed in the www.IMDB.com cast list of the movie and therefore, Jr.’s story doesn’t hold up.
In an interview with The Observer, Jr. said full proof of his identity will appear in an upcoming book that he is working on. He said the proof includes all the “juice and potatoes,” including an affidavit signed by Pettyjohn’s manager confirming the story.
BOX: Elvis Jr., live in Palm Coast
Doors open: 4:15 for the 5 p.m. show, 8:15 for the 9 p.m. show
Date: Both shows are Saturday, Oct. 19
Opening act: Ann Flamingo
Main attraction: Elvis Aaron Presley Jr.
Benefits: Flagler Broadcasting will donate “a few thousand dollars” of the proceeds to the performing arts in Flagler County Schools, according to General Manager David Ayres.
Tickets: $39-69 in advance, or $50-100 the night of the show. VIP tickets available. Visit www.EasyOldiesRadio.com to download a ticket, or visit the radio station at 2405 E. Moody Blvd., Suite 402, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.